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Parish Communications

Communicating well as a parish

There are many ways to communicate to those in our parishes, communities and churches. Whether it is sharing stories, news or notices, there are a number of different platforms and methods to communicate.

This page has a number of suggestions to help get you started, however, if you would like more support, please get in touch with the Diocesan Communications team who are on hand to help.

Parish Magazines & Newsletters

Parish magazines and newsletters are a great way of sharing the church’s stores with your parish.

Can you use your magazine to reach out to people who don’t regularly go to church? If so, can you make it welcoming, easy to understand, and use it to invite people to services and events? 

Magazines and newsletters are a great place to share information for the congregation – what the week’s readings are, who is acting as sidesperson or reader – but most of this information is irrelevant to people who don’t come to church. Could this be put at the back and messages for the more casual reader at the front?

Can you make the magazine or newsletter free of charge, either via advertising or by subsidising it? This will mean that more people are likely to read it.

Can you distribute the magazine or newsletter in every home in your parish? If not, could you ask congregation members to take a handful and share them on their street? Again, the more people who read it, the more will hear the message of God’s love and the church’s welcome. 

A good tip for all communication is to ask a friend or relative who doesn’t go to church to read the magazine or newsletter. What impression does it give them of your church? Are there words or concepts that could be made simpler to understand?

Places to go for help:

Notice Boards

More people will walk past your church noticeboard during the week than will come in the church on Sunday.

Church is all about people, but all people are visually stimulated so make sure your notice boards are kept up to date and still reflect who you are on the inside.


  • Focus on the welcome
  • Use a friendly tone
  • Keep it simple – not too much text 
  • Clear text and images
  • Be bold – don’t be afraid to get creative
  • Keep up to date with the seasons (of the year and the church calendar)
  • Don’t just use Microsoft Word – and the font ‘Comic Sans’ doesn’t make you look friendly or cool!

There are many great resources online that can help you create contemporary and professional looking notices and posters and it’s easier than you think.

Places to go for help:

Social Media

Social media is an essential part of the way we communicate; make sure you check our FacebookX (Twitter) and Instagram regularly to keep up to speed on the latest news from around the diocese.

If your churches do not have a social media presence online, people probably won’t be able to interact with you online. Having no presence in the realm of social media is like having no church building in a town: people cannot come to us if we’re not there.

Most churches have a website, and/or use their page on A Church Near You ( for that purpose. But it’s social media platforms that bring your church, its beliefs, life and stories into people’s hands, pockets and lives.

These guidelines are not designed to be comprehensive instructions on how to use social media, but as points to consider when communicating in these spaces. 

For more information on how best to use social media, we strongly recommend visiting the Church of England, Digital Labs pages for in-depth support and resources to help you get started, develop and master the art of social media. 


A website is the most basic thing your church needs in the online world, even before you begin to think about social media.

A good website should easily offer the basics about where you are, who you are and what you do, and be inviting and welcoming in the way it does it. Make sure your homepage has a welcome message on it, perhaps from the vicar, and pictures of the church, ideally with people in it! 

A good homepage will have an invitation to services or events that are coming up – or link quickly to social media where those can readily be found.

For advice on how to start the process of building a website or to update and refresh your current website, contact Jonny Hedges, Digital Transformation Lead for the Diocese of York.

Jonny Hedges

Digital Transformation Lead

07510 182711

A Church Near You

A Church Near You (ACNY),, is the Church of England’s tool for people to find the nearest church to them with the features that they require. Every C of E church (including yours) automatically has a site within it already. It’s a portal to your own website, or it can actually be your church website, for no charge.

ACNY includes:

  • Event listings – regular and one-offs, plus seasonal (eg Christmas services)
  • News and notices
  • ‘Find us’ page including map link
  • ‘Contact us’ form – delivers email to address of your choice
  • Add your own custom pages as required
  • Editors also get access to ‘Resource Hub’ of resources and templates
  • C of E Easter and Christmas campaigns help to drive traffic to your ACNY site – so especially important to list events at these times of year, even if not using ACNY as the church’s main website.

ACNY had 77 million page views in 2021 – 80% visitors are there for the first time; the most common use of contact form is ‘cold contact’ from people enquiring about weddings, baptisms and funerals.

When you list your Advent and Christmas services and events on ACNY, you’ll be linking them to the Church of England’s national campaigns – if you wish, you can get hold of campaign resources for your church including devotional materials, prayer resources, and help with publicity so that you can link your events and services to the national campaign.